Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mail Day! Cards Older Than Me! And I'm Old!

After successfully unloading some cards on the ‘bay the other day I figured it was time to invest my proceeds into some new cards for the ol’ personal collection. I wasn’t thrilled with the prices I was seeing on the Murrays and the Lecavaliers so I didn’t get to knock down those want lists (actually I did end up bidding on a Murray, but as usual I was sniped at the end).

With money burning a hole in my Paypal account I decided to take another approach. I put the iPad down and picked up the notebook. I fired up my Card Collector program and did a quick summary inventory. I quickly discovered that the oldest card I have in my collection is a 1957 Topps Stan Lopata, a card I believe I picked up at a flea market, or in a trade, or off the street, or at gunpoint. Actually, I have no idea how I got it come to think of it.

Anyway, I figured it was time to rectify the situation. Time to get some older cards into the house, at a reasonable cost, of course. So doing my due diligence (5 minutes of searching) I settled on a 3 card lot of 1956 Topps. The cards were a little beat up, but most importantly they were cheap. With shipping (and $.03 in eBay bucks!) I think my total was less than $5.00.

The three cards didn’t depict any stars so I’m not going to be able to flip them for a profit. As a matter of fact the only thing I knew about them (to paraphrase the great Cliff Claven) is that they are three men who have never been in my kitchen. So with the help of Wikipedia and Baseball I decided to learn a little bit more about some former players.

I received the package in the mail on Wednesday - lets see the newest (oldest) members of the collection!

133 - Ray Narleski. A reliever for the Indians in the 50’s he was a two time all-star and named as one of the Indians top 100 players of all time.

45 - Gus Zernial - “Ozark Ike” what a fantastic nickname. Looks like he beat he throw, but the catcher is doing an excellent job of blocking the plate. According to the back of the card he won the home run and RBI crowns in 1951. According to Wikipedia he has the second most career home runs hit by a player whose last name starts with a “Z”. He finished his 10 year career with 237. Former Orioles Todd Zeile is the leader with 253. Victor Zambrano - 1834th on the list.

60 - Mayo Smith - The card that sold me on the auction. Smith only played a couple of seasons and wasn’t particularly outstanding. He turned to managing and coached in Philly, Cincinnati, and Detroit (where he took them to the World Series in 1968). But look at this card, what is he doing? Holding up a runner? Surrendering to unseen police officer? Playing defense for John Thompson?

There ya go. My latest mail day. Will I collect the rest of the cards in this set? Probably not, after all it’s taking me forever to finish the couple of sets that I’m working on right now (and they’re not even vintage!)

Still it’s always nice to own a couple of pieces of cardboard that are almost as old as my dad.

Please note that the photos posted are not of the actual cards. With no scanners I had to “borrow” some images.

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